How to Speak “Properly”?

June 14, 2012 by E Bagyary

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Are you self-conscious about your grammar, accent, pronunciation of words, or are you maybe in the habit of saying uhmm and errrr a lot? All these are indications that you may not speak as clearly and properly as you could. You may therefore want to improve your techniques for speaking properly, but how to effectively do this?

We all communicate with a large number of people every day, but we often speak improperly, and in fact more and more people are becoming arrogant about the sloppy way they speak, and ignore the importance of speaking properly altogether. Some people use slang, make grammatical mistakes, or pronounce words wrongly. Having poor skills in speaking in whatever languages we may want to speak reflects badly on ourselves.

Learning how to speak properly is not just developing a person’s conversational skills but it also helps to boost his or her personal and professional image. Hence, improving your oratory and conversational skills can definitely make a big difference in your personal and professional life.

One of the most common mistakes in speaking is to speak too fast. Speaking fast might be a habit or might just be triggered by excitement or nervousness, but whatever the cause might be, speaking too fast can make it difficult for the listener to understand and communicate with you. Thus, speaking at a slightly slower pace is a good thing to remember in achieving excellent speaking habits.

Another common mistake is that some people just speak too softly. Speaking softly may be perceived as not being confident, and as being nervous. It should be noted that, in general, people actually prefer to listen to a person who is speaking firmly and in a loud voice. We usually perceive a person to be confident and talking with sense if he or she has the ability to speak loudly and clearly. It does not at all have to appear as if we are shouting and being aggressive, you just need to make your voice louder to make yourself sound interesting, so that people will listen to you attentively.

Effective communication – usually starts with how a person speaks. It is necessary that we are prepared enough to speak to other people. In doing so, we need to think before we speak and thus, we need to prepare what kind of ideas we want to share with other people. Not being prepared in a conversation or in speaking tends to create awkwardness in your speech, such as creating long pauses and random sounds – like uhmm and errrr. In a situation like public speaking or reporting to your superiors these silly sounds should be avoided. This indicates that you are not ready, nervous, lack knowledge or confidence, which is to be avoided in your profession, whatever that profession might be!

Speaking poorly can actually create embarrassment to the person speaking; it is unavoidable that some people who are trying to listen to you sometimes criticize the way you speak, by saying things like, ‘’what did you say? Would you please speak a little louder? I did not understand what you just said, could you speak up, please?’’ – These are only a few examples of statements that we end up hearing if we don’t speak properly.

In terms of projecting professionalism, our voice is one of the main tools we have. Thus, improving this skill can help a person gain respect and success in life. Although an engaging voice usually maintains the attention of the listener, correct grammar and diction is another important factor that is definitely needed in order to speak properly.

No matter what language you speak in, using correct grammar not only helps you communicate effectively, but also helps you avoid embarrassment. Using correct grammar is a great indication that the speaker is an educated person, who understands nuances and has accurate knowledge about the language, while wrong grammar use can indicate a poor knowledge of and feel for the language.

But, how to improve your grammar?

It would be helpful and easier if we learnt correct grammar during our childhood. Children that usually hear other people speak the language correctly can improve rapidly, and this is a great contribution to a child’s learning. However, even for adults it might not be too late, but it takes a lot of work in order to enhance your skills. There are some helpful activities that can help to improve your grammar such as reading, even watching television programmes, or actually speaking and taking grammar classes.

It is true that there are so many ways to learn to speak properly, but we need to understand that improving our skills about how to speak correctly should not only be a matter of practice, but we need to really make it a habit. So, whether you are talking to your friends, or at work, it is necessary that you speak properly and correctly. Thus, one way to improve your skills in speaking properly – is to just make it a habit, and surely it will benefit you for the rest of your life.

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